by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
In this different season (where Jesus wants to reveal Himself more, which will help you thrive as never before), there also are dangers. One of these is the danger of distraction. Long lists of to-dos may seek to press in anyway. You know. That long list of tasks always hovering in the background, threatening to invade and take over the choice for inner calm—the conscious, brazen choice to simply be and let God speak to you in your interior places. Those moments of indescribably, exquisite richness stolen from you. To have that which God wants to give you in this different and hard place grabbed and whisked away. Lists will never be done. For most of us, we eventually die and the lists with their incompleteness and undone-ness are still there.
To be list-driven can help days to be more organized. It can ensure that the lesser priorities do not overwhelm and overtake the greater ones. But these lists themselves do present their own danger. When the lists become too cemented as have-tos then there is no more room for the Holy Spirit’s work. To be open to, listen for and hear His plan. To move with His impromptu nudges because you are committed to making His priorities your own.
When caught up in the busy-ness and satisfaction of checking off tasks, it also sometimes can be a way to make excuses. To make it okay to walk away from God’s call to inner quiet time with Him where He can work on your hurting heart through new partial revelations. When you are fixed on a list which determines your tasks, instead of being with God, it diminishes your ability to hear, be aware of and soak in treasures from the Holy Spirit, which come most often in heart-whispers. You will miss the Gift!
This dangerous distractedness includes worry. It encompasses anxiety where you are pulled from inner calm into a relentless spinning.
To help quiet your thoughts and come back into His peace where you can listen and eventually hear, re-orient your thoughts back to God. Instead of trying to stop thinking, change what you are thinking about.
Read and reflect on the Word of God. It can be a single sentence of one verse! Listen to one of the songs, which are musical prayers, and don’t let it just play in the background. Engage with it. Let the song come to the forefront of your attention. Let the melody and rhythm wash over you. Let the words become your prayer. Listen again. Then again and until it is your own.
Fill yourself with thoughts of Him which will silence the mind’s former compulsive habit to drive after lesser, busy things. Now listen for His plans for your day. Especially for the next moment. Now that you have paused to worship (and adore Him) and you have prayed with a listening heart, go forth in His peace and obey. His…list…is…better. He knows what on yours can remain undone today so you can do His.
Some days I am undone. Yet Your peace is there waiting to fill my heart, mind, soul and body if I will come to rest in You. Here is my heart. Here are my lists! Fill me with more of who You are and lead me in Your way moment-by-moment. You are Shepherd. I long to follow and be an useful, well-used instrument of Your love, just, mighty, perfect will.
38 Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.
39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.
40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!
41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;
42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.
22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?
23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].
24 So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.
SONG Recommended: YET FROM THE MANGER BED–So You Sent Your Son album
If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.
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